Links 26/2/2011: More GNU/Linux in Schools, Including Punjab’s

Posted in News Roundup at 5:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • SCALE: The Best Little-Big Open Source Conference

      The Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) is happening this weekend Feb. 25-27 and is, simply, awesome! I heard about it during its infancy but never even looked into it thinking it would be just as expensive as OSCON. Boy was I wrong! The first year I attended, it cost $60. This year the cost is $70. That’s $70 for THREE days, which is a steal! Factor in the discounts provided to local open source user groups & it is downright highway robbery. You really cannot beat it.

    • 2010 FLOSS Workshop Aftershock: An Unexpected Invitation

      1. How to install Ubuntu/Mandriva (I’d like to add Mepis, Pardus and Mint, haha)
      2. How to work with open word processors, spreadsheets, electronic presentations
      3. How to save documents in compatibility mode (This one is funny. People still fail to see that incompatibility issues spring from Microsoft, not from open documents)
      4. How to dual boot Linux/Windows.

      This hands-on workshop is again addressed to professors. They chose us, it turns out, because both Megatotoro and I are not technical users, which proves that ANYONE can use Linux.

    • Are you ready for SCALE 9X?

      The flights have been confirmed for some time and they’re now being boarded. Speakers are packing and heading to Los Angeles, ready to rehearse their presentations before they go on sometime between Friday and Sunday. Exhibitors prepare to set up their booths. Registrations for the expo continue to roll in. Are you ready for some Linux The 9th annual Southern California Linux Expo is set to start tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 25, at the Hllton Los Angeles Airport hotel.

    • What are you doing Friday? We’re Building a Cloud with Cloud.com, Openstack, and Opscode

      Heading to Southern California Linux Expo, SCaLE 9x? If so, join us this Friday, along with Cloud.com, Opscode, and Openstack, for a free Cloud building event in Los Angeles.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome 10: Lean and mean

        Google released a stable version of Chrome 9 earlier this month but now the company has also pushed out a beta version of Chrome 10. As usual, there are many speed enhancements as well as changes in synchronisation and some of the dialog boxes.

      • Google updates Chrome developer tools
      • Run Google Chrome Apps In Background

        What do you prefer, keeping your Chrome browser open to get notifications about incoming mails, calender and chat or close the browser yet let these services run in the background? There can be many such service which will become more useful if they run in the background and notify a user if there is any update.

        There are many useful hosted apps, extensions available from Google’s Chrome Webstore which will become more useful if they get the capability of running in the background.

  • Sun/Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Joomla 1.6 – A detailed review from a user

      Joomla has been one of my favourite CMS’s for a while but I left it behind when WordPress answered the last questions I had with version 3. Secretly however, I have been waiting for J1.6 to come out in the hope that it also answered some of the questions I had about the last versions.

      Frankly speaking I always thought that Joomla had a better Content Management interface than WordPress, it was just easier to find stuff with bigger sites in Joomla. The massive draw back was the imposed Information Architecture due to Joomla’s content hierarchy.

    • Tiny blogs: When WordPress is too damn big

      So … FlatPress is mostly PHP, Blosxom and Ode are Perl, PyBlosxom is Python, NanoBlogger is a collection of Bash scripts.

      No databases. All “flat” files. You can see the code. It’s definitely non-commercial.

  • Funding

  • Government

    • Government IT suppliers claim procurement system excludes open source

      Systems integrators took on a disapproving audience of open source advocates this week after the government told its biggest suppliers to explain why its open source policy has been thwarted for so long.

      Five executives braved public censure to tell a meeting of the BCS Open Source Group that the fault was an industry ecosystem built over 20 years on principles inimical to the open source model. The hostile ecosystem sustained itself – they merely operated within it, they said.

    • Cabinet Office pushes suppliers on open source

      Bill McCluggage met with suppliers this week to make clear that the Cabinet Office, which leads on ICT policy, wishes to increase the deployment of open source across government.

      He emphasised that the government wishes to see the industry offer more solutions based on open source, and listed a number of approaches that it expects it to follow. These include: evaluating open source solutions in all future proposals; including open standards and interoperability as key components in IT systems; and moving towards the use of open source as normal practice.

    • UK finally moves on Open Standards

      This is one of the stronger policies that we’ve seen from European governments. It certainly is a leap ahead for the UK, which until now has lagged behind many other European countries in terms of Free Software adoption in the public sector. We’d like to see similarly well-considered steps from more European governments.

      The policy note is refreshingly clear on what constitutes an Open Standard. The requirement that patents which are included in Open Standards should be made available royalty-free is a welcome improvement over the fudged compromise in the new European Interoperability Framework. It’s good to see the UK government take leadership on this important issue, in its own interest and that of its citizens.

      As the lamentable OOXML charade has shown, it’s important that standards are developed in a process that’s independent of any particular vendor, and open to all competitors and third parties. We commend the UK government for making this an explicit requirement. The definition of Open Standards could have been even further improved by demanding a reference implementation in Free Software.

    • Government pushes for open standards

      Open standards should be sought in all government IT procurement specifications, the Cabinet Office has said in a policy note.

      When purchasing software, ICT infrastructure, security and other ICT goods and services, where possible government departments should deploy open standards, according to the note published with little fanfare on the department’s web site last week.

      Government assets should be interoperable and open for re-use in order to maximise return on investment, avoid technological lock-in, reduce operational risk in ICT projects and provide responsive services for citizens and businesses, said the Cabinet Office.

    • NL: Three nominees for the ‘Open call for tenders of the year’

      The programme office of ‘Netherlands in Open Connection’ (NoiV), the Dutch government resource centre on open standards and open source, announced the nomination of three authorities for the ‘Open call for tenders of the year’.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • How public is public data? With Public Engines v. ReportSee, new access standards could emerge

        In the settlement between the two websites, a new question arises: Just what constitutes publicly available data? Is it raw statistics or refined numbers presented by a third party? Governments regularly farm out their data to companies that prepare and package records, but what stands out in this case is that Public Engines effectively laid claimed to the information provided to it by law enforcement. This could be problematic to news organizations, developers, and citizens looking to get their hands on data. While still open and available to the public, the information (and the timing of its release) could potentially be dictated by a private company.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Converting ODF documents to PDF with WebODF

      It is quite common that one wants to send ODF files to people that lack the software to display ODF. One workaround is to convert the ODF to PDF. Most office suites that support ODF can export to PDF. To compare how different office suites do this conversion one can use the website OfficeShots. This website offers the ability to perform this conversion in many office suites at once and to compare the results.


  • Two Latino Leaders Arrested for Showing Up To The Senate Building. Yes, In Arizona.

    Details the events of that lead to the arrests of to Latino leaders who tried to enter the Senate building in Arizona. They were blacklisted from entering the building by senate leader, Russell Pearce. That’s right. Blacklisted. Without trail or notice.

  • The Bechdel Test for Women in Movies

    The video is called “The Bechdel Test for Women in Movies” and was created by FeministFrequency. It describes a test for all movies with three simple qualifications:

    1. Is there more than one woman in the movie who has a name?
    2. Do the women talk to each other?
    3. Do they talk to each other about something other than a man?

  • When The Net Was Young

    His and the other bureaucrats and politicians who supported the plan tried to assert that, like the Interstate Highway system has always been justified, long-distance data networks for use by the public are just too expensive for “private” efforts to successfully build. The backbone would have to be so big that only the Federal Government could successfully build it.

    Since I was working graveyard, then evening shift (graveyard and I don’t get along), I don’t recall the exact date that the change occurred, but here’s what it was: The National Science Foundation released control of the routing tables and eliminated the rules against commercial use. In fact and effect, they threw open the “Internet” to anyone and everyone that agreed to use the Internet protocols as defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force.

  • How Apple Dodged a Sun Buyout: Former CEOs McNealy, Zander Tell All

    At a Churchill Club dinner, former Sun CEOs Scott McNealy and Ed Zander discuss why the company didn’t buy Apple in 1996, the real beginnings of cloud computing and why Linux should never have come into existence.

  • Hardware

    • All this has happened before: NVIDIA 3.0, ARM, and the fate of x86

      At a dinner this week with members of the press, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang laid out his view of NVIDIA’s past, present, and future in light of recent developments in the processor market. Jen-Hsun’s remarks are worth looking at in some detail, as much for what they say about Intel as what they say about NVIDIA. We’ll recap Jen-Hsun’s take on the processor and GPU markets, followed by a look at the implications of the trends he references for the future of Intel, the x86 instruction set architecture (ISA), ARM, and the CPU market as a whole. Ultimately, we could even see Intel get back into the ARM market, a market where it had considerable success with its XScale line before betting the farm on x86.

    • Godson: China shuns US silicon with faux x86 superchip

      If the Chinese government is scaring the world with its hybrid CPU-GPU clusters, what do you think the reaction will be when Chinese supercomputers shun American-made x64 processors and GPU co-processors and start using their own energy-efficient, MIPS-derived, x86-emulating Godson line of 64-bit processors?

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Don’t Buy Insurance Industry’s “Objective Analysis”

      There are two things lawmakers can be certain of. One, “the study” they will get from AHIP, which was behind the successful effort to keep the federal government from creating a public option, will be anything but objective. And two, it will be the centerpiece of a multi-pronged strategic effort to scare people into believing, erroneously, that SustiNet will cost jobs, lead to higher taxes and bring to an abrupt halt the “market-based solutions” AHIP maintains insurers have brought to Connecticut.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Injustice Everywhere: The National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project
    • Sex Crimes, Cell Phones and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

      If anyone deserves a longer sentence, it is a sex offender who victimizes minors. But no one would ever have anticipated that a sex offender would receive extra prison time for using a basic cell phone in the furtherance of his crime. Last week the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the enhanced sentence of the defendant Neil Kramer who pleaded guilty to transporting a female minor in interstate commerce with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, Title 18, U.S.C. § 2423(a). Kramer’s prison sentence was increased by an extra 2 1/3 years because he had used his cell phone to make calls and text messages to the victim for a six-month period leading up to the offense. U.S. v. Kramer, 2011 WL 383710 (8th Cir. Feb. 8, 2011). In total Kramer was sentenced to over 13 years in prison.

  • Cablegate

    • Bush nixes Denver visit, citing invite to Assange

      George W. Bush said Friday he will not visit Denver this weekend as planned because WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was invited to attend one of the same events as the former president.

      Bush planned to be at a Young Presidents’ Organization “Global Leadership Summit” Saturday but backed out when he learned Assange was invited, Bush spokesman David Sherzer said.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Who is Caving to Pressure Against Josh Fox’s Oscar-Nominated Documentary, GASLAND?

      Something bizarre just happened at the Wall St. Journal. At 6pm I was reading a home page story on WSJ.com called “Oscar’s Attention Irks Gas Industry” by Ben Casselman which contained perhaps the most honest and revealing quote from the gas industry that I have read to date about their obsession with attacking my film GASLAND. The quote reads “We have to stop blaming documentaries and take a look in the mirror,” said Matt Pitzarella, a spokesman for gas producer Range Resources Corp. Just thirty minutes later the quote mysteriously disappears, edited out and in its place is a far more typical spin controlled statement from Tom Price of Chesapeake energy saying, “We need to be able to respond objectively and accurately.” Sounds like a robot at a PR agency, more than a person.

  • Finance

    • How Wall Street and Wisconsin Officials Blew Up the State’s Pension Fund

      Wisconsin state employees fighting for their jobs should ask Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein for their money back.

      What’s the connection? During the dog days of the financial crisis in 2008, the investment bank advised clients to bet that Wisconsin and 10 other U.S. states would go broke by purchasing credit default swaps against their debt. For Goldman and other Wall Street firms that used this ploy, the beauty part was that they had also previously earned millions in fees by helping most of those states sell municipal bonds.

    • How Public Employees and Taxpayers Got Scammed

      Public employees have been cramming the Wisconsin state Capitol to protest the governor’s plan to cut their take-home pay and gut their collective bargaining rights. You can’t blame them for objecting when the state reneges on a deal. But they should have been protesting years ago, when politicians and union leaders struck a bargain that was too good to be true.

    • Politicians Slash Budget of Watchdog Agencies … Guaranteeing that Financial Fraud Won’t Be Investigated or Prosecuted

      It is very telling that we have enough money to extend the Bush tax cuts, to throw boatloads of cash at the big banks so that they can give lavish bonuses, and to continue fighting never-ending wars on multiple fronts giving no-bid contracts to favored contractors, but we can’t scrape together a little spare change to fund the regulators and prosecutors.

  • Wisconsin/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Caller posing as major GOP contributor dupes Walker

      Scott Walker took a prank phone call Tuesday, and Wisconsin learned a lot about its new governor.

      A recording of the call released Wednesday spelled out Walker’s strategies for dealing with protesting union workers and trying to lure Democrats boycotting the state Senate back to Wisconsin.

      Speaking with whom he believed to be billionaire conservative activist David Koch, Walker said he considered – but rejected – planting troublemakers amid protesters who have rocked the Capitol for a week.

    • What’s Really Going on in Wisconsin?

      But now, in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, conservative, anti-labor politicians like Governor Walker are trying out a new and potentially more potent anti-union argument: We can no longer afford collective bargaining. The wages, health benefits, and pensions of government workers, these opponents say, are driving states into deep and dangerous deficits.

    • Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Violates Reagan’s Legacy

      In his attack on workers’ right to bargain collectively, Scott Walker is diametrically opposing the legacy of former President Ronald Reagan — the same conservative figure Walker idolized in his prank phone call with a blogger posing as “David Koch.”

    • CMD Submits Open Records Requests to Governor’s Office

      Before news broke of the prank call from a David Koch impersonator to Governor Walker’s office, CMD had submitted the below open records request to the Wisconsin Department of Administration for all phone calls to-and-from the governor’s office since January 1. CMD confirmed receipt of the request via telephone on February 18 and expects a reply promptly. We have also submitted open records requests directly to the governor’s office for copies of all email and visitor log records.

    • The Mighty Mighty Teamsters Lend Support

      On the first day protesters occupied the Wisconsin Capitol building a young man held a sign, “Where is Jimmy Hoffa when you need him?” Well, International Brotherhood of the Teamsters President James Hoffa rolled into town today with a group of Wisconsin Teamster members to lend support to the Capitol protesters. Three members I spoke to were UPS drivers, private sector workers lending support to public sector nurses and teachers. I asked Hoffa about the news this morning that Governor Scott Walker had been caught on tape with a blogger who he thought was David Koch, of Koch Industries, specifically about Walker’s comments that he would “crank up” pressure on the workers with layoff notices. “We’ll announce Thursday, they’ll go out early next week and we’ll probably get five to six thousand state workers will get at-risk notices for layoffs. We might ratchet that up a little bit too,” says Walker on the call.

    • Billionaire Right-Wing Koch Brothers Fund Wisconsin Governor Campaign and Anti-Union Push

      In Madison, Wisconsin, record numbers of protesters have entered the 11th day of their fight to preserve union rights and collective bargaining for public employees, inspiring similar protests in the states of Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. The protests have also helped expose the close ties between Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who helped bankroll the Tea Party movement. On Wednesday, blogger Ian Murphy revealed he had impersonated David Koch in a recorded phone conversation with an unsuspecting Walker. We play highlights of the recording and discuss the Koch brothers’ influence in Wisconsin with Lisa Graves of the Center for Media and Democracy.

    • Koch Lobbying Office Draws Protest; Building Employees Gawk From Windows

      Cars, SUVs and buses whoosh down Madison’s King Street Thursday afternoon, honking, windows rolled down, thumbs up in solidarity as neon-vested police officers direct traffic.

      “Stay strong!” shouted a man out the driver’s-side window of a State Employee Vanpool van. A Madison Metro bus driver drives by, honking and cheering.

    • Wisconsin Protests, Tuesday, February 22, 2011

      News reports indicate that legislators in Indiana have crossed state lines to protest votes on legislation that would savage the right of working people to collectively bargain. McClatchy Newspapers summarizes the rustbelt rebellion: “In Wisconsin, where the state Senate has been paralyzed because Democrats fled to block Gov. Scott Walker’s attempt to strip collective bargaining rights from government workers, the governor warned he would send 1,500 layoff notices unless his proposal passes. In Indiana, Democrats in the state Assembly vanished, depriving that body of the quorum needed to pass a right-to-work law and limit government unions’ powers. And in Ohio, an estimated 5,500 protesters stood elbow to elbow in and outside the Capitol chanting “Kill the bill!” as a legislative committee took up a proposal that would similarly neuter government unions.”

    • Transcript of prank call to Walker

      Here’s a complete transcript of the Buffalo Beast prank conversation with Gov. Scott Walker Tuesday, from recordings by the Beast. Ian Murphy of the Beast poses in the call as David Koch, a billionaire contributor of Walker’s.

    • Full Transcript of Walker-”Koch” Call
    • 50 Rallies in 50 State Capitols to Support Wisconsin

      In Wisconsin and around our country, the American Dream is under fierce attack. Instead of creating jobs, Republicans are giving tax breaks to corporations and the very rich—and then cutting funding for education, police, emergency response, and vital human services.

    • Wisconsin Protests, Thursday, February 24, 2011
    • Walker’s Budget Plan Is a Three-Part Roadmap for the Right

      There’s a three-prong approach in Governor Walker’s plan that highlights a blueprint for conservative governorship after the 2010 election. The first is breaking public sector unions and public sector workers generally. The second is streamlining benefits away from legislative authority, especially for health care and in fighting the Health Care Reform Act. The third is the selling of public assets to private interests under firesale and crony capitalist situations.

    • What Else is in Walker’s Bill?

      While most news coverage has focused on how Governor Scott Walker’s budget repair bill attacks the state’s 200,000 public sector workers (and by extension, the entire middle class), the law is increasingly recognized as an attack on the poor. It curtails (and perhaps eliminates) access to the Medicaid programs relied upon by 1.2 million Wisconsinites, limits access to public transportation, and hinders rural community access to broadband internet. The bill keeps the poor sick, stranded, and stupid.

    • Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White

      Outside of services offered during crises and protests, the street medic ethic is one of “community medicine” where medical providers reach out to the community, build trust, and participate in education. In Madison, he said, street medics offer free clinics in the summer months, and free meals on Sundays as part of the “savory Sundays” program. The latter is aimed at the poor and homeless, and includes medical care and education; foot care, Brian says, is particularly important. These community events aimed at the most vulnerable populations also build relationships and allow the medics to better connect the disadvantaged with available resources.

  • Civil Rights

    • Feds Appeal Warrantless-Wiretapping Defeat

      The Obama administration is appealing the first — and likely only — lawsuit resulting in a ruling against the National Security Agency’s secret warrantless-surveillance program adopted in the wake of the 2001 terror attacks.

      A San Francisco federal judge in December awarded $20,400 each to two American lawyers illegally wiretapped by the George W. Bush administration, and granted their attorneys $2.5 million for the costs of litigating the case for more than four years.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

  • DRM

    • Sony’s PS3 Lawsuit Is About Control, Not Piracy

      We actually wrote about Sony’s response to AIBO hacks a decade ago, and it’s absolutely true. Copyright is supposed to be about incentives to create. But it’s generally been twisted into a tool for control against “stuff we don’t like.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Chilean and NZ Proposals for TPP IP Chapter: Counter IP Abuse, Support Public Domain

      The Chilean and New Zealand proposals for the intellectual property chapter in the Trans-Pacific Partnership have leaked (Canada has been excluded from the talks so far). The leaks demonstrate how much different many other countries view the inclusion of IP in trade agreements when compared to the U.S. and Europe.

    • Copyright Interlude: What is the Public Domain?

      Ironically (and without comment from the district court), the particular identifiable traits of the characters identified here (apart from the portraying actors) were all derived directly from L. Frank Baum’s 1900 Wonderful Wizard of Oz novel that is now out of copyright.

    • Copyrights

      • MP3.com’s Robertson Has A New Startup—And He Might Not Get Sued This Time

        Michael Robertson, an online music entrepreneur who has been something of a lawsuit-magnet for record labels, has launched his newest venture, DAR.fm, and has high hopes that it will stay litigation-free. DAR.fm is a “digital audio recorder” that allows users to record their favorite internet radio shows and store them in a cloud-based service. In an interview with paidContent, Robertson explained that the legal path for such a service should be perfectly clear now, since an appeals court already ruled in 2008 that it’s not a copyright violation to offer users remote, cloud-based DVR services.

      • iiNet fights off AFACT’s piracy appeal

        The trial has been viewed by Australia’s ISP industry as a major landmark case to help determine how ISPs will react in future to users using their networks to download copyrighted material. iiNet had not been forwarding email communication from AFACT to users who AFACT had alleged had breached copyright, whereas some other ISPs have been complying with the request.

      • Liberal MP Dan McTeague Emerges As Unofficial CRIA Spokesperson

        Last week, I reported on a major Canadian lawsuit filed by 26 record labels against isoHunt. The legal action, filed in May 2010 without any press releases or public disclosure by CRIA, seeks millions in damages and an order shutting down the controversial website. At the same time as the labels filed the statement of claim, the four major labels responded to isoHunt’s effort to obtain a declaration that it operating lawfully in Canada. Their Statement of Defence (posted here – excuse the poor scan) also makes the case that isoHunt currently violates Canadian copyright law.

      • Liberal MP Dan McTeague Emerges As Unofficial CRIA Spokesperson

        The McTeague comments – along with his positions at the C-32 committee – raise important questions about how the Liberal Opposition Critic for Consumer and Consular Affairs has emerged as the most anti-consumer MP on the committee from any party (a point noted in a follow-up letter to the editor). Even more troubling is evidence to suggest that McTeague’s comments are being actively fed by the Canadian Recording Industry Association, with McTeague using his platform on the committee to effectively become an unofficial spokesperson.

      • Re:Sound Proposed Tariff for Use of Soundtracks in Theatres & TV Nixed (Again)

        Presumably, very few copyright lawyers will be surprised to learn that the Federal Court of Appeal has just decisively (three days after the hearing) dismissed the application for judicial review brought by the collective Re:Sound (formerly NRCC) in its attempt to impose tariffs when a published sound recording is part of the soundtrack that accompanies a motion picture that is performed in public (i.e. movie theatres) or a television program that is communicated to the public by telecommunication (i.e. on TV).

      • Piracy Once Again Fails To Get In Way Of Record Box Office

        The movie business has — yet again — run up record numbers at the box office. In 2010, theaters around the world reported a combined total revenue of $31.8 billion, up eight percent from 2009. While the industry certainly has its share of piracy problems, they aren’t affecting box office receipts.

      • Google is still fighting the Belgian copyright cops

        The firm is responding to a court ruling from 2007 that found it in breach of copyright laws by reproducing some of the exciting and groundbreaking news that comes out of Belgium.

        Google is arguing that there is nothing wrong with what it does, which is to take something that someone else has written and use it on its own webpages, and in a bullish statement Google rejected everything that the Belgian courts had said about it.

      • Is Copying The Idea For A Magazine Cover Infringement?

        We’re always told by copyright system defenders that there’s an “idea/expression dichotomy” in copyright law that prevents copyright from really getting in the way of free speech. This is supposed to mean that it’s perfectly fine to copy the idea, so long as you don’t copy the fixed expression of that idea. In practice, this gets a lot trickier, with courts seeming to find all sorts of copied “ideas” infringing, even if they don’t copy specific expression. So where is the line?

      • Musician Sues Summit Entertainment For Taking Down His Song In Twilight Dispute

        This one is a bit confusing, but an artist named Matthew Smith apparently wrote a song back in 2002, but late last year he tried to re-market the song by trying to associate it with the Twilight Saga movies. He did so by doing some sort of deal with the company that sells pre-movie ads to promote the song in various theaters… and by getting an image designed as the “cover” image for the song that was inspired by the Twilight Saga — using a moon and a similar font to the movie’s advertisement. Summit — who has shown itself to be ridiculously overprotective of its trademarks and copyrights issued a takedown to YouTube, where the song was hosted. This part isn’t clear, because I’m not sure where the song image was included on the YouTube page. I guess in the video, but the article linked above doesn’t say.

      • Florida Court Realizes Its Mistake, Reverses Order For Ripoff Report To Take Down Content

        At the beginning of January, we wrote about a troubling court ruling in Florida, where a judge ordered XCentric, the operators of Ripoff Report, to remove some content from their website, despite the company’s policy against such removals and the clear and well-established safe harbors for Ripoff Report from Section 230. There were some serious problems with this ruling beyond just the Section 230 questions, including the prior restraint issue, whereby content was ordered taken offline despite the lack of a full evidentiary hearing on the merits.

      • Smarter Copyright Shills, Please

        In a Feb. 15 op-ed for the New York Times, three representatives of the Authors Guild — Scott Turow, Paul Aiken and James Shapiro — raise the question “Would the Bard Have Survived the Web?”

        In my opinion they have it just about backward. They’d have been better off asking whether the Bard would have survived copyright.

        In the course of this piece, the authors manage to recycle just about every pro-copyright cliche and strawman known to humankind.

        Their central focus is on the novel potential for making money through paid performances in Shakespeare’s day (“for the first time ever it was possible to earn a living writing for the public”), and the role of that development in the literary explosion of the English Renaissance.

      • Great Artists Steal

Clip of the Day

Android/iPhone/iPad Development with Corona-sound effects

Credit: TinyOgg

ES: Bill Gates Esta Matando el Periodismo, Reemplazándolo con Egoístas Relaciones Públicas PR

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Finance at 1:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Oil stock

(ODF | PDF | English/original)

Resumen: ¿Cómo los plutócratas la nación líder, dirigido por Gates, distorsionan al extremo los medios de comunicación y difunden la ilusión de que los super-ricos de la población se preocupan por la población a la que realmente explotan y roban.

La Fundación Gates[http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Gates_Foundation_Critique] hace un montón de cosas malas, pero para una persona que se deje guíar por la palabra de los presentadores de noticias y periódicos, lo contrario parece ser cierto. Gates es un hombre de negocios astuto, que seguro sabe cómo explotar su entorno, traicionar a socios en el proceso. Todo el mundo que conozca la historia de este hombre ha visto esto. El Microsoft despues de Gates esta rodeado por los presupuestos de relaciones públicas (PR) de miles de millones de dólares. Sí, es billones con una “B”. Para PR, simplemente significa la auto-promoción. ¿Asusta?, ¿eh? Imagínese cuántos agentes de relaciones públicas de tiempo completo pueden ser contratado con ese tipo de presupuesto. De nuevo, poniéndolo en perspectiva no es tan descabellado como parece. Noam Chomsky habla de vez en cuando sobre el tema[http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/199808--.htm] y en una ocasión dijo que “en los Estados Unidos, por ejemplo, alrededor de una sexta parte del producto nacional bruto, más de un billón de dólares al año, se dedica a la comercialización. El marketing es la manipulación y el engaño. Se trata de convertir a la gente en algo que no lo son -. Individuos centrados únicamente en sí mismos, la maximización de su consumo de bienes que no necesitan”. Ahora, estos son números aterradors, aún más aterrador que el presupuesto militar que excede el de todos los el mundo en su conjunto.

“Si el pueblo estadounidense hubiera conocido la verdad sobre lo que los Bush han hecho a esta nación, seríamos perseguidos en la calle y linchados.”
      –George Bush padre.
Uno podría decir, a quién le importa? ¿Cómo me afecta? Bueno, no mire más allá del Tea Party dirigida por Koch, las “noticias” de Fox liderada por Murdoch (relacionado con lo anterior), la dinastía Rockefeller, y así sucesivamente. Muchas de estas personas hicieron su fortuna dañando a muchas personas, sin embargo, porque son ricos, la gente común puede ser llevada a creer que la contribución de estos plutócratas a la sociedad es tan inmenso que los Estados Unidos se soportan en sus hombros, como si estos fuesen salvadores de la nación. Una cosa es robar a la sociedad por violar las leyes y otra totalmente distinta a la demanda y luego utilizar el botín para relaciones públicas PR, para que las víctimas del saqueo admiren y adoren a sus saqueadores, debido a las campañas de engaño masivo. En realidad, estas personas deben estar avergonzadas y en la clandestinidad (si no está en la cárcel). George Bush padre, dijo en 1992 que “si el pueblo estadounidense hubiera conocido la verdad sobre lo que los Bush han hecho a esta nación, seríamos perseguidos en la calle y linchados.” BoingBoing, acaba de publicar gráficos que muestran la riqueza de la “clase dominante de súper ricos de los Estados Unidos”[http://www.boingboing.net/2011/02/24/visualizing-the-weal.html]. Para poner esto en perspectiva con los números que el New York Times ha publicado recientemente, teniendo en cuenta todas las más de 20 naciones en el Medio Oriente y África Septentrional, todas estas naciones tienen una distribución más justa de la riqueza que en los Estados Unidos. Increíble, ¿no? Que a pesar de esto no hay disturbios grandes o revueltas en los EE.UU.. Bueno, cuando la gente como Bill y Warren usan la Fundación Gates para evitar incluso de impuestos, no es de extrañar la gente en el fondo no puedan poseer nada y sin embargo, llevan toda la carga. Pero al mismo tiempo, se espera de muchos de ellos la adoración de los super-ricos de la nación y dependen de las llamadas “donaciones” de las que sólo leen. Esto demuestra lo poderoso que es y de relaciones públicas entre los super-ricos, nadie se compara a Gates cuando se trata de relaciones públicas. He aquí un nuevo artículo sobre el tema:

Gates controla los medios de comunicación masiva a través de becas de periodismo


Según el informe del Seattle Times, BMGF dona millones cada año para los grupos de media como ABC, The Guardian, The New York Times, PBS, e incluso del Seattle Times. BMGF también gasta millones de dólares en capacitación de periodistas en la forma de defender adecuadamente los intereses de su fundación, y los mensajes de los medios artesanales, de tal modo que contribuyan a los programas de su fundación. Así que en lugar de presentar las noticias, muchos periodistas financiados por BMGF ahora presentan los BMFG cuidadosamente diseñado puntos de discusión a los espectadores y lectores.


Entonces, hay BMGF promoción de los OGM, y su ESTRECHA ALIANZA con el gigante de la biotecnología Monsanto. BMGF se ha aliado con Monsanto en muchas ocasiones, incluso recientemente compró 500.000 acciones de nanotecnología vacuna experimental de Monsanto, el apoyo al desarrollo de los mosquitos genéticamente modificados (http://www.naturalnews.com/030940_B …), y los esfuerzos de financiación se extendieron a las semillas transgénicas de Monsanto en todo el desarrollo de África a fin de resolver supuestamente el hambre y la inanición (http://www.naturalnews.com/029071_B …).

Esta en realidad se enlaza con el lavamiento en lejía del notoriamente sesgado Seattle Times (Heim específicamente Kristi), que plantea una pregunta común[http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2014280379_gatesmedia.html] (cuestionando lo obvio) y luego defiende Gates al final. táctica clásica de pretender ser un crítico, mientras que en el hecho despide a los que realmete lo son. Vea como el periódico británico, financiado por Bill Gates, The Guardian, hace unos meses[http://techrights.org/2010/10/05/monsanto-whitewash-and-microsoft-jack/]. Para citar a los bits más recientes:

Las subvenciones de la fundación de los medios de comunicación como ABC y The Guardian, uno de los principales diarios de Gran Bretaña, plantean cuestiones obvias de conflicto de interés: ¿Cómo puede ser la presentación de informes imparciales cuando un jugador importante paga y manda?

Sin embargo, la financiación directa de las medios de comunicación es una sola manera fundamental como los más poderosos del mundo influyen en lo que el público lee, oye y ve.

Para atraer la atención de las cuestiones que preocupa, la fundación ha invertido millones en programas de capacitación para periodistas. Financia la investigación sobre las formas más eficaces para elaborar los mensajes de los medios. Los grupos de reflexión apoyados por Gates producen informes, publicaciones y piezas de opinión. Revistas y periódicos científicos obtienen dinero de Gates para publicar investigaciones y artículos. Los expertos entrenados en los programas financiados por Gates escriben columnas que aparecen en los medios de comunicación desde The New York Times al The Huffington Post, mientras que portales digitales difuminan la línea entre el periodismo y la propaganda.

Los esfuerzos son parte de lo que la Fundación llama “promoción y la política.” En los últimos diez años, Gates ha destinado $ 1 billón para estos programas, que ahora representan aproximadamente una décima parte de lo que el gigante de la filantropía gasta 3 billones de dólares al año.

Relaciones Públicas significa que la industria sigue controlando los medios de comunicación, cada vez más, como los periódicos se quedan sin fuentes de ingresos y buscan clientes en vez de lectores. Tienen influencia por venta (venta al público). Como hemos cubierto muchos ejemplos aquí antes, se supone que los lectores han visto un montón de pruebas y en los últimos dos días ha habido un montón de rumores sobre “churnalism*”, que es un servicio nuevo y excelente por el sonido de la misma:

* Señoras y Señores, Por Favor, Enciendan Sus Motores de Churn[http://mediastandardstrust.org/blog/ladies-and-gentleman-please-start-your-churn-engines/]

Cuando se pega un comunicado de prensa en churnalism.com y pulsa ‘comparar’ la maquina churn lo compara con más de tres millones de artículos publicados en la prensa nacional en los últimos tres años (actualiza cada hora más o menos).

El mecanismo busca cadenas de 15 caracteres en el comunicado de prensa que son exactamente las mismas que las cadenas de 15 caracteres en los artículos. Cuando se encuentra la misma cadena el motor busca más cadenas idénticas en el mismo artículo. Si más del 20% del artículo y el comunicado de prensa se superponen, el mecanismo sugiere que puede haber un churn.

* Churnalism o noticias? ¿Cómo las Relaciones Públicas se han Apoderado de los Medios de Comunicación?[http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/feb/23/churnalism-pr-media-trust]

Un nuevo sitio web promete arrojar luz sobre “churnalism” mediante la exposición en la medida en que los artículos de noticias han sido directamente copiados de los comunicados de prensa.

El sitio web, churnalism.com, creado por caridad de Media Standards Trust, permite a los lectores para pegar los comunicados de prensa en una “rotación del motor”. A continuación, compara el texto con una base de datos constantemente actualizada de más de 3 millones de artículos. Los resultados, que dan a los artículos de “calificación de rotación” , muestran los porcentaje de cualquier artículo que se han reproducido de material publicitario.

The Guardian tuvo acceso exclusivo a churnalism.com antes de su lanzamiento. Puso de manifiesto cómo todos los medios de comunicación están a veces simplemente publicando, literalmente, el material enviado por las empresas de comercialización y los grupos de campaña.

The Guardian está siendo hipócrita aquí porque ellos mismos reciben mucho dinero de Gates para hacer relaciones públicas para él (disfrazado como cobertura objetiva ), [1[http://techrights.org/2010/09/21/purchasing-main-events-for-pr/], 2[http://techrights.org/2010/10/01/self-promotional-and-outright-lobbying/], 3[http://techrights.org/2010/10/01/self-promotional-and-outright-lobbying/]].

El tema de la distorsión de los medios de comunicación por Gates y su fundación no es complicado de explicar, pero la gente necesita ser mostrado muchos ejemplos y explicaciones. Ellos están constantemente bombardeados con las Relaciones Públicas PR de Gates que puede parece bastante convincentes. Tenemos un plan para ponernos al día un poco en el tema en el transcurso de este año.

*Churnalism. anglicanismo con no directa traducción. La mejor definicion en lenguaje común nos la da Byron Smith
Churnalism. s. Periodismo basado en gran medida de un comunicado de prensa.
“There are more people working in PR than in journalism now.”
“Hay más gente que trabaja en relaciones públicas que en el periodismo de ahora.”
“About 54% of news articles are derived at least partially from press releases.”
“Alrededor del 54% de los artículos de noticias se derivan, al menos parcialmente a partir de comunicados de prensa.”

Many thanks to Eduardo Landaveri of the Spanish portal of Techrights.

Links 26/2/2011: Linux, GNOME 3 User Day

Posted in News Roundup at 3:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • The mighty Linux spreads its wings

    Getting ready for a new competition, it’s time for another themed post. How about a Linux-based Gadget Master roundup?

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • Watson? Commercial – not super – computer

      First of all, it’s not a supercomputer. It’s a commercial system – or rather, a bunch of commercial systems lashed together for parallel processing purposes. The hardware is readily available POWER-based gear that can run either IBM’s AIX Unix operating system or Linux.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 391
    • Podcast Season 3 Episode 4

      In this episode: Microsoft and Nokia form an alliance and the GPLv3 might not be welcome on Windows Phone. Canonical gets controversial with Banshee while openSUSE and Fedora users might have to wait for Unity. Hear our discoveries, our limited success with the challenge, and your own opinions in our Open Ballot.

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Geek Time with Jim Zemlin

      Jim Zemlin is the Executive Director of the Linux Foundation, and earlier this month he sat down with the Open Source Programs Office’s Jeremy Allison for a chat about the future of Linux. In addition to talking about the future, Jim shares insights on the history and significance of Linux.

    • Stable kernel
    • Linux

      I’m announcing the release of the kernel.

    • Intel announces a BIOS Implementation Test Suite (BITS)

      Intel is pleased to announce the BIOS Implementation Test Suite (BITS), a bootable pre-OS environment for testing BIOSes and in particular their initialization of Intel processors, hardware, and technologies. BITS can verify your BIOS against many Intel recommendations. In addition, BITS includes Intel’s official reference code as provided to BIOS, which you
      can use to override your BIOS’s hardware initialization with a known-good configuration, and then boot an OS.

    • Intel Releases BIOS Implementation Test Suite
    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.38 (Part 3) – Network drivers and infrastructure

      Kernel version 38 will offer a new meshing implementation, loads of new and improved LAN and Wi-Fi drivers, plus various minor changes that promise to improve the network subsystem’s performance.

    • The debloat-testing kernel tree
    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Is Still Working On G45 VA-API Video Acceleration

        This is nice to see Intel is actually working on support still for these older-generations of Intel graphics processors, but it’s already long overdue. This quarter we do know Intel is expected to deliver VA-API accelerated video encoding support for Sandy Bridge, which should be quite interesting, if it is delivered on time.

      • Scheiße! RandR 1.4 Gets Yanked From X Server 1.10

        Only a few days have passed since the release of X.Org Server 1.10 RC2, but another release candidate has now arrived. Given the short turnaround time since the previous release candidate and now being days away from the final release, it’s a mundane release candidate, right? Actually, no. RandR 1.4 was just pulled in its entirety from xorg-server 1.10, which also caused the server’s video ABI to now be bumped again.

      • Mesa Can Do EXT_texture_compression_RGTC

        In Mesa’s quest to catch up to the proprietary Linux drivers (and the graphics drivers available under Windows), they are now a tiny bit closer. David Airlie has announced on the Mesa mailing list that he has implemented support for the EXT_texture_compression_RGTC extension into Mesa.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • 88 watts per hour

        Surprisingly enough, it seems that GNOME Power Manager does not handle time paradoxes properly. If you run GNOME on a DeLorean or have your computer clock go back in time, it seems that g-p-m’s statistics does not take this into account, and draws… interesting graphs

      • The first GNOME 3 User Day

        The first GNOME 3 User Day was held last week. Thanks to everyone who helped out, the event was a real success. Enthusiastic GNOME users from all over the world packed into the #gnome IRC channel to discuss the new release and to ask questions. Attendance was excellent, to the extent that it was almost too busy to keep track of the conversation at times.

  • Distributions

    • How to Protect an Entire Network with Untangle

      As you’re likely aware, guarding your PCs from malware – viruses, trojans, spyware – and hacking is crucial for protecting your files and data. However, don’t forget about your mobile devices. Malware and hacking will be becoming more prevalent on smartphones, pads, and tablets. This makes network-wide security protection even more beneficial. It can cover your entire network, giving you protection for your mobile devices and adding a second layer of protection for your PCs.

      There are several ways to implement network-wide security. Today we’ll be discussing the Untangle platform, which you can install on a dedicated PC or run as a virtual machine (VM). It can also serve as your network’s router and firewall, plus can give you many more additional features. As Figure 1 shows, it features a user-friendly GUI to configure and manage all the components.

    • Lightweight Splashtop Linux-based OS Available for Download

      According to the folks at Splashtop, adjunct Linux versions have been pre-installed on over 60 million computers, which means that these operating systems are a significant part of the overall Linux ecosystem. Splashtop is now based on the open source Chromium code that underlies Google’s Chrome browser.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Mepis 11 Says Yes to LibreOffice

        Apparently, Mepis 11, that is, the new version of Mepis (currently on beta stage) has joined all the other Linux distributions that support LibreOffice.

      • Debian is dying, oh my word!

        Ever since the release of Debian 6.0 “Squeeze”, there’s an ongoing debate about whether Debian is still relevant or whether the project is going to die.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Natty Feature Freeze now in effect; Alpha 3 freeze 2/27 2300 UTC

          The Feature Freeze is now in effect for Natty. The focus from here until release is on fixing bugs and polishing.

        • Banshee In Natty To Ship Multiple Stores And Contribute To GNOME Foundation

          Recently the Canonical Online Services team, led by Cristian Parrino, has been in discussions with the Banshee project to coordinate a suitable revenue share for the built-in Amazon store. Unfortunately, there were a few crossed wires, but a call today helped to clarify the position.

        • Unity Update (3.4.6) Brings New “Super” Shortcuts For The Launcher [Ubuntu 11.04 Development]

          A new Compiz-based Unity version (3.4.6) was uploaded to the Ubuntu 11.04 repositories minutes ago, getting one of the features you’ve just seen in the Unity 2D video we’ve posted earlier: when pressing and holding the Super key, a number is displayed for each application in the Unity launcher and pressing that number will launch / raise that app. However, in the Compiz Unity you also have a shortcut for the application/file places, expo and trash as you’ll see in the video below (this isn’t available in Unity 2D yet).

        • Wayland Is Now Available In Ubuntu 11.04

          Canonical’s Bryce Harrington has just announced he has uploaded a snapshot of the Wayland Display Server to the Universe repository for Ubuntu 11.04, a.k.a. the upcoming “Natty Narwhal” Linux release.

        • Russia Today Report Thu24Feb11 on extradition of Wikileaks’ Julian Assange from London to Sweden
        • A few minor Unity Updates from yesterday…

          If you’re a fan of incremental progress then do carry on reading. If, however, you find minor ‘updates’ to be trivial you might want to read something else.

          The following small but noteworthy changes landed in yesterdays update to Unity in Ubuntu 11.04. You won’t see anything too startling but where you will find is solid, dependable progress in evidence.

        • Now we can rock this…

          Please note that this is new and I’m really just trying to sucker you into banging on it so you can file bugs and update documentation.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • What He Thinks, He Becomes

            Another episode from your friendly neighborhood Ubuntu Studio project lead discussing more Fun Facts, future plans for Ubuntu Studio, and more Meet the Team. Let’s rock it…

            Oh, also I’m going to try to rock some new headings that I hope play better with Planet Ubuntu. Blogger likes to set the font-size for headings, but I’m going to use HTML h1 tags.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

        • Qt Is Exploring A Google V8 JavaScript Engine

          This V8 engine isn’t living in the mainline Qt tree but in a separate Git repository for now. “The status of the V8-based back-end is that we still have some QtScript API that’s not implemented, and there are autotests failing (QTBUG-17640), but several of the QtScript and QML examples and demos run. Aside from behavorial compatibility with current Qt, we also need to ensure that there aren’t any performance gaps in the C++/JS layer before a V8-powered Qt can become a viable solution. As I mentioned in a previous post, we’re simultaneously looking to trim the fat of our current APIs to make a switch feasible.”

        • Why I believe Microsoft will buy Nokia

          Unfortunately for Nokia, developers are not jumping from the platform towards the same boat. They are going to miss the Microsoft boat because it is just a raft, right now. However, they will not miss the Android cruise ship, because it is enormous, it has a pool and a casino on it (check this fantastic video, it is amazing to see how fast Android grew).

          Giving up on Symbian, waiting for a Windows Phone to appear (at the end of the year), means wasting a long year, probably even two. If you consider where Android was two years ago (nowhere, check the video above for February 2009) and where they are now, you know what I am talking about. This market is moving at Silicon Valley speed, if you miss two years, you are history.

          That’s why I think Nokia is doomed as an independent company. Before the announcement, their market cap was $43B, now it is $32B (yep, eleven billions jumped off the platform too). That means today Microsoft has 7 times Nokia market cap (they are at $224B).

          With the devastation of the Symbian story (and the grow of low-cost devices from MediaTek and Android), I can only see the stock go south from here. In a year, I bet their market cap will be around $20B, just half of what it was before the announcement.

          Put yourself in Steve Ballmer’s shoes. At that time, your market cap will be ten times Nokia’s. Their company will be $20B cheaper. Apple will be out with iPad 2, iPhone 5 and maybe even an iPhone Mini, with the highest margins ever. Android will be over 80% of market share in mobile, with Google making billions in mobile ads. Where can you go? You can’t beat Android, because it is open source and it sells for zero dollars (and it has a momentum that cannot be stopped). But you can chase Apple.

        • Nokia asks users what excites them about the Microsoft deal

          That’s pretty embarrassing for a company that has a desperate need to be big in the mobile phone market and it is hardly reassuring for Nokia’s customers and shareholders.

          Still, the writing was always on the cards, even if Elop could never see it. However to the outsider the clues to failure were there, and perhaps most tellingly in the Elop crisis email.

        • import QtQuick 1.1

          For those who have been following QML , you might remember that we changed the imports to QtQuick 1.0 to allow us minor revisions of the Qt Quick module in minor revisions of Qt. One of those minor revisions is nearly done, and will soon be waiting in the 4.7 branch of Qt. There’s a bunch of good stuff there and one area in particular I’d like to focus on is the improvements we’ve made to versioning.

        • Qt Earth Team Mix Feb 2011

          During the month of January, my team decided to start releasing our working Qt version to the public once a month. We set 25th of February 2011 as the first release date, and as a “release process” we decided that we were not going to produce packages or anything like that but we would simply tag our repository and announce it to the world.

        • Not just another tablet. The first MeeGo tablet.

          It’s true. There are MeeGo devices being commercially distributed and they are built on Qt. The guys at WeTab GmbH have been shipping their MeeGo tablet, WeTab, since the third quarter of 2010.

        • AppUp developer meetup @ GDC

          Rhonda & I will be hosting a meetup at GDC at the Bin 55 lounge in the Marriott Marquis. We’d like any developers who will be attending GDC to come by and meet us and other AppUp developers. Drop us a note if you’re attending. This will be a good opportunity to chat, share stories and have some down time before the Application Lab starts at noon.

      • Android

        • Android apps running on BlackBerry devices? It may already be happening

          Bloomberg news reported earlier this month that RIM was working to make its BlackBerry Playbook tablet compatible with Android apps. The report cited only unnamed sources and seemed to be a strange development.

        • Animation in Honeycomb

          One of the new features ushered in with the Honeycomb release is a new animation system, a set of APIs in a whole new package (android.animation) that makes animating objects and properties much easier than it was before.

        • Motorola XOOM gets the root treatment in just two hours

          Forget taking the Motorola XOOM home to put it through its paces and experience the delight of Google’s Android Honeycomb operating system, it’s now a matter of how quickly you can install your own ClockworkMod recovery image and ROM Manager, rooting your tablet as soon as humanly possible.

          That’s what Koush did with his XOOM, installing the recovery image and ROM manager, obtaining SuperUser priviledges on the device, just two hours after purchasing the tablet. Whilst we haven’t heard of any ROMs in existence, it will mean that developers and Android hackers will be able to install custom Honeycomb ROMs on their Motorola XOOM.

        • Make Your Clock Widget lets you make your own Android clock [App Reviews]

          There’s a new popular clock widget every week, but what if you want more control over how you tell time? How do you make my own clock widget on Android? You download Make Your Clock Widget, of course.

          Make Your Clock Widget doesn’t give you the ability to build the same amazing widgets that we’ve covered in the past, but it does offer the ability to customize your clock with nice results. The app comes with a set of five pre-made templates, and several more designs available for download, that can be used as starting points to build a widget. Users can adjust font size, positioning, background color, and style to get the right look for their widgets of varying sizes.

        • Google releases manual 2.3.3 updates for Nexus One and Nexus S [Updated]

          Waiting up to a few weeks for the Android 2.3.3 OTA update to roll out may not be your style, so rather than dialing *#*#checkin#*#* in hopes that the update comes to you, Google has not released the zip file updates so you can manually update your phone.

        • Sony Ericsson could soon permit rooting of its Android handsets

          The rooting of Android handsets could soon be encouraged at Sony Ericsson after a tweet from Simon Walker, Head of Developer Program and Partner Engagement for Sony Ericsson Mobile said he was “in favour of rooting if it was done right”.

        • Things overheard on the WiFi from my Android smartphone

          What options do Android users have, today, to protect themselves against eavesdroppers? Android does support several VPN configurations which you could configure before you hit the road. That won’t stop the unnecessary transmission of your fine GPS coordinates, which, to my mind, neither SoundHound nor ShopSaavy have any business knowing. If that’s an issue for you, you could turn off your GPS altogether, but you’d have to turn it on again later when you want to use maps or whatever else. Ideally, I’d like the Market installer to give me the opportunity to revoke GPS privileges for apps like these.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Making community software sustainable

    At Gettysburg Abraham Lincoln dated this nation’s founding to the Declaration of Independence. We celebrate July 4 as our national day.


    So far, I’m glad to say, the drive is doing a lot better than either the American Republic or the Confederacy. Over 40,000 Euros came in during just one week. “Your are our rockstars,” Florian wrote.

  • ☆ OBR Progress Report

    The Open-By-Rule Benchmark I talked about recently has now had several workouts, and there are a number more under review ready for future posting. So far, it seems to be working out well, with projects receiving scores that (to my eyes at least) are an accurate reflection of the openness. It’s been clear that every project has it’s strengths and weaknesses and that there’s no perfect model. I like the way the benchmark allows for this; as the dial I’m displaying suggests, I think an overall score below -2 suggests a closed project, a score over +2 suggests an open project and in between is a twilight zone.

  • Amateurism

    One of the false charges that anti-FLOSS protestors hurl at FLOSS is that FLOSS is run by amateurs. Begging that question, they conclude that FLOSS cannot be as good as their favourite non-free software.

  • Kerala launches International Centre for Free and Open Source Software

    The International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS) was inaugurated today by Chief Minister Shri V S Achuthanandan in Thiruvananthapuram. The Technopark based ICFOSS will focus on providing technical assistance for using FOSS to implement various government projects in Kerala in an endeavour to promote open source software.

    In his inaugural speech, the CM said, “As per the IT policy of the Government we will support the use of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in all projects, especially those for governance and education. Kerala was one of the first states in the country to adapt to free software. Today, other states are following our footsteps and we should ensure that we maintain the leadership position. ICFOSS is a step in this direction.” He also added that major projects of national importance like Aadhaar should have been developed on FOSS.

  • Liberation by software

    For the last half-thousand years, ever since there has been a press, the press has had a tendency to marry itself to power, willingly or otherwise. The existence of the printing press in western Europe destroyed the unity of Christendom, in the intellectual, political and moral revolution we call the Reformation. But the European states learned as the primary lesson of the Reformation the necessity of censorship: power controlled the press almost everywhere for hundreds of years.

    In the few places where the European press was not so controlled, it fuelled the intellectual, political and moral revolution we call the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, which taught us to believe, as Thomas Jefferson said, “When the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.”

    But in the world liberal capitalism made, as AJ Liebling declared, freedom of the press belonged to him who owned one. Venality, vanity, fear, lust for profit and other forces brought the owner, slowly or rapidly as character determined, into power’s embrace. In the 20th century, the press – and its progeny, broadcast – became industrial enterprises, which married power and money far more incestuously than any megalomaniac press lord ever could, which is why the few remaining corporeal examples, nor matter how semi-corporate their vileness, retained a certain quaint, freebooting flavour.

    Now, the vast interconnection of humanity we call the internet promises to divorce the press and power forever, by dissolving the press. Now, every mobile phone, every document scanner, every camera, every laptop, are part of an immense network in which everything we see, we think, we know, can be transmitted to everyone else, everywhere, immediately. Democracy in its deepest sense follows. Ignorance ceases to be the inevitable lot of the vast majority of humanity.

  • The Idea is create FOSS KIT for on Intro to FOSS/Linux/OpenStandards for mass advocacy

    Even If we unable to create workshop by whatsoever reason, I will be able to distribute to 10000+ college in India via IIT and MHRD but we need this FOSS KIT as this stage. I am asking for contribution. please come forward as this contribution will help lakh of student to use FOSS.

  • Events

    • Scott McNealy, in Conversation with Ed Zander (Premier Event)

      Scott McNealy, Co-Founder, Former Chairman & CEO, Sun Microsystems
      Ed Zander, Former Chairman & CEO, Motorola; Former President, Sun Microsystems

    • Unfortunately, there will be no eLiberatica 2011

      I feel that I have to give a public and official response regarding eLiberatica conference. I tried to delay it in the hope that, some kind of miracle will happen – which is not the case. We cannot do this conference this time. There is as very slight chance to do it in autumn. Very light, I would not count on it.

      Unfortunately, there will be no eLiberatica 2011.

    • Talking Linux Hardware Tomorrow At SCALE

      OpenBenchmarking.org will be going public over the night and for those not in Las Angeles, slides and recordings from this presentation will be published on Monday.

  • Web Browsers

    • 3D Modeling in Your Web Browser

      Benjamin Nortier of London is our hero. Why? He’s taken on a huge challenge: create a 3D modelling program that everyone can use. He’s performed an analysis of available 3D modeling tools and came to pretty much the same conclusion we did: tools are too hard, too expensive or not usable for solid modeling. What’s he doing about it? He’s creating a fully functional, easy-to-use, browser-based 3D modeling tool: “I’m building a WebGL modelling tool for 3D printing”.

    • Chrome

      • Chrome Developer Tools: Back to Basics

        It’s been an exciting past few months in the Google Chrome Developer Tools world as we keep adding new features, while polishing up existing ones to respond to your feedback.

    • Mozilla

      • Another Beta: Mozilla Preps Firefox 4 Beta 13

        It’s the end of February and it appears as if Mozilla will miss yet another important target: It is unlikely at this time that Firefox 4 RC will become available this month, as the next beta is frozen, another beta is planned and 20 blocking bugs remain.

      • Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs Talks Firefox 4 and Chrome

        BoomTown spoke with Gary Kovacs, the relatively new CEO of Mozilla, about the near-to-official launch of Firefox 4, the increasing competition with Google and its Chrome efforts and where Mozilla goes next

      • Game On Spotlight: Far7

        Three boys decided to create a start-up. We were all into gaming, web development and space, so it was small wonder our project ended up as a browser-based space simulation game. Right from the beginning, we chose to employ only technology that would enable us to create a virtual world free from any limitations, be it platform, bandwidth or gameplay.

      • Mozilla F1 Updated

        A new version of Mozilla F1 is available. This is a bug fix/small enhancement release that builds on last week’s release.

      • Finding harmony in web development – a talk at London Web

        Last week I spoke at the London Web Meetup in London, England about a topic that is close to my heart: finding harmony as a group of professionals in web development. If you come from the outside of our little echo chamber and you see how developers communicate with each other and how we get incredibly agitated about certain subjects you get a very strange impression.

      • Customizing Home Dash with Snapshots

        One of Home Dash‘s goals is to create a browse interface where users can discover interesting websites. Home Dash 6 moves closer by adding some initial support for customizing the snapshots of these websites in the dashboard.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle and Google Tell the Court the Claim Constructions They Agree and Disagree On

      Oracle and Google have filed a joint claim construction statement [PDF]. This is a standard thing that you have to do in all patent infringement cases in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. It’s a statement where the parties let the judge know how they each construe the words in the patents allegedly infringed.

    • Oracle’s share of server market cut in half

      Despite the bravado of chief executive Larry Ellison, Oracle continued to take a pounding in the EMEA server market during Q4 2010.

      Figures from Gartner reveal global server revenues in 2010′s closing quarter rose 16.4 per cent on the corresponding period last year to $14.7bn (£9.1bn). Across the full year, server sales rose 13.2 per cent to $48.8bn.

      In EMEA, Q4 server sales were up 10.4 per cent annually to $4.3bn, while unit shipments increased 4.4 per cent to 706,202.

    • The Document Foundation achieves its fundraising goal

      Thousands of donors contribute €50,000 in just eight days to The Document Foundation

  • Healthcare

    • FSFE welcomes paper calling for Free Software in the NHS

      Research programme publishes damning report of public health ICT, and recommends Free Software and Open Standards.

      Professor John Chelsom, founder of the Centre for Health Informatics at City University London (CUL), published a paper this week calling for the NHS to stop investing in proprietary software, and eliminate “once and for all, the product-centric culture” that has “held back” British healthcare. Arguing that the NHS is “just emerging from a decade of wasted opportunity”, the paper states that the National programme for IT (NPfIT) is a failure.

    • Bringing information sharing to healthcare

      The Direct Project took a page from the open source community by bringing together several dozen organizations to collaborate to create “a simple, secure, scalable, standards-based way for participants to send authenticated, encrypted health information directly to known, trusted recipients over the Internet.” The group is working to establish standards and documentation to support simple scenarios of pushing data from where it is to where it’s needed.

  • BSD

  • Government

    • Roundup: Open source in the DOD

      The February issue of DACS’ (Data and Analysis Center for Software) Software Tech News focuses entirely on the U.S. Department of Defense and open source software. However, even if you aren’t interested in the use of open source in the military, there are still some gems that apply to all U.S. government agencies that you might want to check out.

    • ☆ The Open Source Procurement Challenge

      I am speaking at the ODF Plugfest here in the UK this morning, on the subject of the challenges facing the procurement of open source software by traditional enterprises (including the public sector). Based on a selection of experiences from ForgeRock’s first year, my talk considers procurement challenges that legacy procurement rules raise for introducing true open source solutions

    • U.K. Comes out for Royalty-Free Standards for Government Procurement

      The U.K. has become the latest country to conclude that for information and communications technology (ICT) procurement purposes, “open standards” means “royalty free standards.” While apparently falling short of a legal requirement, a Cabinet Office Procurement Policy Note recommends that all departments, agencies, non-departmental bodies and “any other bodies for which they are responsible” should specify open standards in their procurement activities, unless there are “clear business reasons why this is inappropriate.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Engaging on the Digital Commons

      We at the Centre for Internet and Society are very glad to be able to participate in the 13th Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC). Our interest in the conference arises mainly from our work in the areas of intellectual property rights reform and promotion of different forms of ‘opennesses’ that have cropped up as a response to perceived problems with our present-day regime of intellectual property rights, including open content, open standards, free and open source software, open government data, open access to scholarly research and data, open access to law, etc., our emerging work on telecom policy with respect to open/shared spectrum, and the very important questions around Internet governance. The article by Sunil Abraham and Pranesh Prakash was published in the journal Common Voices, Issue 4.


  • Professor Pablo Boczkowski on news consumption — and how when you read affects what you read

    It’s an intriguing phenomenon, but it’s not the only one Boczkowski is studying. Another fascinating aspect of the professor’s research — the aspect, in fact, for which the book is named — is the study he conducted of the environments in which people consume their news. People tend to read the news at work; and that, in turn, skews the news content they consume. (For more on that idea — and for the broader trends it suggests about information consumption and civic life — check out the talk Boczkowski will be giving this evening, with the Lab’s own Josh Benton, as part of MIT’s Communications Forum. If you’re in the Cambridge area, the discussion will take place from 5 to 7 on the MIT campus; it’ll also be recorded and archived.)

  • Paris-on-Thames

    The French influx to London suggests what governments can and can’t do to boost their cities’ allure

  • Alternative search engine’s

    DDG (DuckDuckGo) is great for a number of reasons:

    * DDG doesn’t track your searches (Google does)
    * Uses a cool !bang syntax to make searching faster (example: ‘!w linux’ will take you directly to the Wikipedia page for linux, hundreds of !bang shortcuts are available for many popular sites and topics)
    * Almost as good search results as Google, there have only been a tiny handful of searches that havent been very good
    * Fast and minimal
    * The API is open source

  • Daily Show: American Workforce Makeover

    The American workforce needs a third world makeover if it wants first world corporations to find it attractive.

  • Craigslist ‘a cesspool of crime’: study

    “To be fair, Craigslist as an entity can’t be blamed for the things that happen among its users. It’s merely a facilitator of commerce, after all,” says Zollman in a blog post. “And we understand thousands or even tens of thousands of transactions happen safely between Craigslist aficionados. Long before Craigslist, even, robberies were linked to newspaper classifieds from time to time.”

  • Cherokee teacher pleads guilty to duct-taping autistic student

    A Cherokee County teacher who duct-taped an autistic boy to a chair and confined a blind girl under a desk pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and was sentenced to six years of probation and $2,000 in fines.

  • Science

    • Rare Alan Turing papers bought by Bletchley Park Trust

      A collection of Max Newman’s hand-annotated offprints from sixteen of Alan Turing’s eighteen books have been purchased by the Bletchley Park Trust with help from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and a USD100,000 donation from Google.

    • Eleventh Hour Rescue of Turing Collection

      Almost nothing tangible remains of genius Bletchley Park codebreaker, Alan Turing; so when an extremely rare collection of offprints* relating to his life and work was set to go to auction last year, an ambitious campaign was launched to raise funds to purchase them for the Bletchley Park Trust and its Museum. The Trust is today delighted to announce that the collection has been saved for the nation as the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) has stepped in quickly to provide £213,437, the final piece of funding required.

    • Enigma code breaker Alan Turing’s papers have been saved

      According to the BBC, the final tally of public donations was still £200,000 short. It’s a shame that Apple couldn’t part with any of the £60 billion cash pile it’s sitting on and that other cash rich information technology companies didn’t donated something. Turing was, after all, a founding father of modern computing.

    • Adding a twist to radio technology

      The bandwidth available to mobile phones, digital television and other communication technologies could be expanded enormously by exploiting the twistedness as well as wavelength of radio waves. That is the claim being made by a group of scientists in Italy and Sweden, who have shown how a radio beam can be twisted, and the resulting vortex detected with distant antennas.

      The simplest kind of electromagnetic beam has a plane wavefront, which means that the peaks or troughs of the beam can be connected by an imaginary plane at right angles to the beam’s direction of travel. But if a beam is twisted, then the wavefront rotates around the beam’s direction of propagation in a spiral, creating a vortex and leaving the beam with zero intensity at its centre.

  • Security

    • Thursday’s security advisories
    • Security updates for Friday
    • RSA 2011: Winning the War But Losing Our Soul

      There was lots of noise and distraction on the crowded Expo floor of the RSA Security Conference this year. After a grueling couple of years, vendors were back in force with big booths, big news and plenty of entertainment designed to attract visitor traffic. Wandering the floor, I saw – variously – magic tricks, a man walking on stilts, a whack-a-mole game, a man dressed in a full suit of armor and a 15 foot long racetrack that I would have killed for when I was 10.

      The most telling display, however, may have been the one in Booth 556, where malware forensics firm HBGary displayed a simple sign saying that it had decided to remove its booth and cancel scheduled talks by its executives. This, after the online mischief making group Anonymous broke into the computer systems of the HBGary Federal subsidiary and stole proprietary and confidential information. The HBGary sign stayed up for a couple days, got defaced by someone at the show and was later removed. When I swung by HBGary’s booth on Thursday, it was a forlorn and empty patch of brown carpet where a couple marketing types where holding an impromptu bull session.

    • Credit cards at the turnstile across London by 2013

      Transport for London has confirmed that by the end of 2012 it will accept contactless credit and debit cards at the tube turnstiles, just after the Olympic tourists leave.

      Those tourists will be able to pay for bus journeys, as London’s 8,000 buses will be equipped to accept PayWave, PayPass and ExpressPay before the July kick-off, but upgrading the underground network will take a little longer so Londoners will have to wait until the end of 2012 before being able to cut up their Oyster cards.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Filmmaker To Create Egypt Documentary Through Social Media

      This was a particularly interesting to Mehta, who is a Knight Fellow at Stanford University and former New York Times video journalist currently working on ways to develop what he calls “participatory reporting.” After the initial celebration, he developed a project that he hopes will result in a crowd-sourced interactive documentary about the 18 days of protests that led up to the revolution.

      The project, #18DaysInEgypt, asks people who witnessed the protests to label what they recorded of them on Twitter, Flickr and YouTube with specific tags. Eventually, Mehta will put the entries together to create an interactive narrative. He hasn’t decided whether that narrative will involve a timeline, place the viewer at a specific location to observe what is going on, create a customized video depending on what the user wants to experience (Arcade Fire-style) or something else. For now, the biggest hurdle is collecting the content, a project for which he is soliciting help from partners in Egypt.

    • South Korea leaflets tell North of Egypt, but change unlikely

      South Korea’s military has been dropping leaflets into North Korea about democracy protests in Egypt, a legislator said on Friday, but doubts lingered it would trigger calls for change in the tightly controlled country.

      As part of a psychological campaign, the South Korean military also sent food, medicines and radios for residents in a bid to encourage North Koreans to think about change, a conservative South Korean parliament member, Song Young-sun, said.

    • Another Runaway General: Army Deploys Psy-Ops on U.S. Senators

      The U.S. Army illegally ordered a team of soldiers specializing in “psychological operations” to manipulate visiting American senators into providing more troops and funding for the war, Rolling Stone has learned – and when an officer tried to stop the operation, he was railroaded by military investigators.

    • Lieutenant General William Caldwell illegally ‘psyched’ bigwigs

      A US general in Afghanistan illegally ordered a military psychological operations team to manipulate visiting US dignitaries into supporting their calls for further troops and funding, it was reported yesterday.

    • Libya in turmoil – live updates

      9.46am – North Korea: In the comments thread Benghazi217 reports that North Korea has seen protests in the past few weeks, while the economic and food situation is deteriorating. Earlier we heard reports that South Korea is dropping leaflets into its northern neighbour documenting the revolutions in Egypt and Libya.

    • CNN’s Brian Todd reports on WikiLeaks cables detailing excessive spending, violence of Gadhafi’s children.
    • Old Friend AndNew Deals, Ignoring Democracy

      Mubarak and Berlusconi are cheerful. After dinner, they chat and laugh about “their meetings with that madcap Qaddafi.” Who knows, they may even have talked about “bunga bunga” (think steamy frolics), a phrase invented by the Libyan leader. And there was much good cheer too during a private lunch not so long ago between the Cavaliere (Berlusconi’s nickname) and the Tunisian president Ben Alì at the latter’s Hollywood-style villa in Carthage. “Old friends, new deals” is how the US ambassador summed it up. But when the subject of the Mediterranean comes up, Italy’s foreign policy always goes off on two different paths: Berlusconi deals with the “sexier portfolio”, in other words special deals and the like, while foreign minister Frattini handles down-to-earth matters. The US diplomatic documents – obtained from WikiLeaks and published exclusively by “L’Espresso” – show how the regimes of Egypt, Libya and Tunisia were a personal question for Silvio Berlusconi. After all, his style is to embrace the world’s dictators, from Putin to Lukashenko, from Chavez to Assad, while ignoring warnings from his ministers and allies. Not to mention the fact that he welcomes the sudden influx of “non- transparent” Libyan capital into the Italian bank Unicredit. With the risk that very private and hastily concocted deals will now carry a high price for the whole of Italy. While North Africa’s Maghreb region is undergoing dramatic changes affecting Italy’s future – refugees seeking asylum, energy cutbacks and stock exchange tremors – the government seems unable to come up with an appropriate response. And the WikiLeaks cables show how Italy’s executive is split from top to bottom – ministers with no compunction about trampling on their colleagues, a marked inability to find a single voice on major problems, bitter feuds amongst party factions, clashes with Bankitalia and with the President of Italy. For months the US ambassador David Thorne has been filing reports to Washington D.C. about the all-out fighting in the government coalition “while waiting to find out who will take over from Berlusconi.”

    • Libya’s ‘Love Revolution’: Muslim Dating Site Seeds Protest

      When Omar Shibliy Mahmoudi exchanged sweet nothings on the Muslim dating site Mawada, it wasn’t for love but for liberty.

  • Cablegate

    • The WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG for Thursday, Day 89

      5:05 Wired: Pay Pal denies anything political about it freezing that Bradley Manning support fund. “Asked why, if the Courage to Resist account was opened in 2006, PayPal hadn’t raised the issue of linking it to a bank account earlier, Nayar did not have an immediate response. He said only that nonprofit organizations are allowed to open accounts easily and quickly.”

    • Clinton and the freedom to connect

      I’m disappointed that she used this speech to once more attack Wikileaks (even as she praised other nations’ citizens’ efforts to use the net to bring transparency to their governments) and that the Administration has not taken the opportunity of Wikileaks to examine its own level of classification and opacity. They could still disapprove of Wikileaks while also learning a lesson about being more open. By not doing that, some of the high-minded words in a speech such as this come off as at least inconsistent if not hypocritical.

    • There are many who fear exposure of Libya’s secrets

      For years his regime has given the west nothing but grief but been kept sweet for reasons of oil, trade and on the spurious notion that the “Great Leader” might be a useful ally in the fight against Islamic terrorism. Earlier this week a fresh batch of diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks again revealed the true nature of the corrupt and lavish lifestyles of the Gaddafi family. In what amounts to a personal fiefdom, his oldest son, Muhammad, dominated telecommunications, while another like Muatassim, was National Security Adviser, Hannibal was influential in maritime shipping, Khamis commanded a top military unit, and Saadi was given the job of setting up an Export Free Trade Zone in western Libya.

    • PayPal Lifts Ban on Fundraising Account for WikiLeaks Source Bradley Manning

      PayPal has lifted its ban on the account of Courage to Resist, an organization that has raised a substantial portion of the funds needed for the legal defense of Bradley Manning, the 23-year-old former U.S. army private accused of leaking classified U.S. information to WikiLeaks in 2010.

    • Glenn Greenwald explains WikiLeaks to Stephen Colbert

      Anonymous recently revealed internal emails and documents from security firm HBGary that showed how it proposed targeting WikiLeaks and journalists, expecially Glenn Greenwald, on behalf of Bank of America.

    • “What has Wikileaks ever taught us?”

      Since 2006, the whistleblowers’ website WikiLeaks has published a mass of information we would otherwise not have known. The leaks have exposed dubious procedures at Guantanamo Bay and detailed meticulously the Iraq War’s unprecedented civilian death-toll. They have highlighted the dumping of toxic waste in Africa as well as revealed America’s clandestine military actions in Yemen and Pakistan.

    • Demand open justice for Julian Assange

      Julian Assange will, according to the judge’s finding of fact, be held in prison in solitary confinement when he is returned to Sweden and will then be interrogated, held without bail and later subjected to a secret trial on accusations that have been bruited around the world, not least by this newspaper. He has a complete answer to these charges, which he considers false and baseless. Even if acquitted, however, the mud will stick and, if convicted, the public will never be able to able to assess whether justice has miscarried. This country, which has given to the world the most basic principles of a fair trial – that justice must be seen to be done – denies that basic liberty for those that are extradited to Sweden.

    • Is WikiLeaks Driving Unrest in the Middle East and North Africa?

      Though the media may attack WikiLeaks on their editorial pages, Mitchell says many outlets depend on the cables for juicy details about Libya. Where else could we learn that US diplomats consider Qaddafi and Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez “revolutionary brothers”?

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Hydrofracked? One Man’s Mystery Leads to a Backlash Against Natural Gas Drilling

      There are few things a family needs to survive more than fresh drinking water. And Louis Meeks, a burly, jowled Vietnam War hero who had long ago planted his roots on these sparse eastern Wyoming grasslands, was drilling a new well in search of it.

      The drill bit spun, whining against the alluvial mud and rock that folds beneath the Wind River Range foothills. It ploughed to 160 feet, but the water that spurted to the surface smelled foul, like a parking lot puddle drenched in motor oil. It was no better — yet — than the water Meeks needed to replace.

      Meeks used to have abundant water on his small alfalfa ranch, a 40-acre plot speckled with apple and plum trees northeast of the Wind River Mountains and about five miles outside the town of Pavillion. For 35 years he drew it clear and sweet from a well just steps from the front door of the plain, eight-room ranch house that he owns with his wife, Donna. Neighbors would stop off the rural dirt road on their way to or from work in the gas fields to fill plastic jugs; the water was better than at their own homes.

      But in the spring of 2005, Meeks’ water had turned fetid. His tap ran cloudy, and the water shimmered with rainbow swirls across a filmy top. The scent was sharp, like gasoline. And after 20 minutes — scarcely longer than you’d need to fill a bathtub — the pipes shuttered and popped and ran dry.

    • The Corn Ultimatum: How long can Americans keep burning one sixth the world’s corn supply in our cars?

      I am not a fan of our corn ethanol policy as I made clear made clear during the last food crisis (see “The Fuel on the Hill” and “Can words describe how bad corn ethanol is?” and “Let them eat biofuels!“). In a world of blatantly increasing food insecurity — driven by population, dietary trends, rising oil prices, and growing climate instability — America’s policy of burning one third of our corn crop in our engines (soon to be 37% or more) is becoming increasingly untenable, if not unconscionable.

      I was glad to see former Pres. Bill Clinton start talking about this in a Washington Post piece headlined, “Clinton: Too much ethanol could lead to food riots” — though I tend to see the world’s increasing use of crops for fuel as an underlying cause for growing food insecurity, something that makes the whole food system more brittle and thus more vulnerable to triggering events, like once in 1000 100 year droughts and once in 500 year floods, which is to say climate instability (see WashPost, Lester Brown explain how extreme weather, climate change drive record food prices).

    • Real Climate faces libel suit

      Real Climate, a prominent blog run by climate scientists, may be sued by a controversial journal in response to allegations that the its peer review process is “shoddy.”

      Gavin Schmidt, a climate modeller and Real Climate member based at Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, has claimed that Energy & Environment (E&E) has “effectively dispensed with substantive peer review for any papers that follow the editor’s political line.” The journal denies the claim, and, according to Schmidt, has threatened to take further action unless he retracts it.

      “This is an insult, and what’s more it’s not true,” says Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, the editor of E&E and an emeritus reader at the University of Hull’s department of geography. Every paper that is submitted to the journal is vetted by a number of experts, she said. But she did not deny that she allows her political agenda to influence which papers are published in the journal. “I’m not ashamed to say that I deliberately encourage the publication of papers that are sceptical of climate change,” said Boehmer-Christiansen, who does not believe in man-made climate change.

  • Finance

    • Libya Placed Billions of Dollars at US Banks: WikiLeaks

      Libya’s secretive sovereign wealth fund has $32 billion in cash with several U.S. banks each managing up to $500 million, and it has primary investments in London, a confidential diplomatic cable shows.

    • Amidst Rumors That Gadhafi’s Been Shot, Swiss and Brits Freeze His Assets

      While rumors that Libyan ruler Muammar Gadhafi had been shot surfaced, the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs announced it would freeze any and all assets held by Gaddafi or his “environment” to avoid any “misuse of state funds.”

    • Tell Kaplan & The Washington Post: Stop Cashing In On Low-Income Students

      Kaplan University Online promises convenient college degrees paid for with easy federal aid. But for many students, all they deliver is debt, unethical practices and misleading claims. Who cashes in? The Washington Post Company, which owns the lucrative chain of colleges and lends its stellar reputation to a scam for low-income students.

      Shannon Croteau was 11 classes away from a degree from Kaplan University Online when she learned she was out of financial aid, owed $30,000 and that the degree would be worthless in her state of New Hampshire.

      Croteau had been told by Kaplan — a lucrative chain of “for-profit” colleges owned by the Washington Post Company — that she could make more than $65,000 a year as a paralegal. Getting financial aid from the government was easy, they said, and earning a degree would be a snap.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • [Parody] Embarrassed Republicans Admit They’ve Been Thinking Of Eisenhower Whole Time They’ve Been Praising Reagan

      At a press conference Monday, visibly embarrassed leaders of the Republican National Committee acknowledged that their nonstop, effusive praise of Ronald Reagan has been wholly unintentional, admitting they somehow managed to confuse him with Dwight D. Eisenhower for years.

    • Celebrity names swamp News of the World phone-hacking inquiry

      So many messages are being examined by Scotland Yard’s phone-hacking inquiry that it is difficult to identify every mention of a celebrity’s name among “hundreds of intercepts”, lawyers for the police have claimed.

      The proliferation of legal actions generated by complaints against the News of the World is also in danger of congesting the courts with “parallel claims”, the judge hearing applications for disclosure in three cases has implied.

    • Seriously, Timothy Johnson, Your Idea Of How To Do PR For Clients Is A Joke

      The culprit in this case is Mr. Timothy Johnson, who just went off on my extremely sweet and mild-mannered colleague Leena Rao because she declined to cover some tidbit of news about a company he represents.

    • The best influence money can buy – the 10 Worst Corporate Lobbyists

      Getting politicians to bend policy to your company’s will is a fine art – requiring a combination of charm, dogged persistence, threats and bushels of cash. But corporate lobbyists know just which buttons to press in order to get politicians to stuff human rights, public health and the dear old environment – and put business interests first.

      Much as they shrink from the limelight, we feel they deserve a bit of exposure. So here’s why we think these 10 lobby groups have earned their place in the hall of shame.

    • Why nobody trusts the mainstream media

      Is it a problem that the top six media corporations dominate the information flow to most of the developed world?

      I think so.

  • Censorship

    • Letter from China

      The Chinese Communist Party can move like a gazelle when it senses that its grip on social stability might be at stake. Within days of Mubarak’s downfall, Beijing had rounded up liberal activists, slowed the Web to a crawl, and poured security forces into areas that it thought could be used for the kind of online organizing that is sweeping the Middle East. Smack in the middle of that, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a speech on “Internet freedom” last week, and she singled out China and other authoritarian countries for facing a “dictator’s dilemma” in their attempts to control the Internet. For analysis, I turned to Rebecca MacKinnon, who knows as much as anyone about the Internet in China. She is a Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation and co-founder of Global Voices Online, an international citizen media project. (Her book “Consent of the Networked” will be published next year by Basic Books.)

    • China calls for renewed fight against Dalai Lama

      A senior Chinese leader says Beijing should launch a fresh struggle against the influence of the Dalai Lama in Tibet.

      The comments were made by Jia Qinglin, who sits on the standing committee of the Chinese Communist Party’s powerful politburo.

      He said China also needed to raise the living standards of Tibetan people.

      The call comes nearly three years after riots and unrest in Tibetan areas which China blamed on the Dalai Lama.

    • LinkedIn hit as China clamps down on dissident talk

      Business networking site LinkedIn appeared to have been blocked in some parts of China, the company said.

      No explanation was given for the move, which LinkedIn is still investigating.

  • Privacy

    • HIPAA Bares Its Teeth: $4.3m Fine For Privacy Violation

      The health care industry’s toothless tiger finally bared its teeth, as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a $4.3 m fine to a Maryland health care provider for violations of the HIPAA Privacy Rule. The action is the first monetary fine issued since the Act was passed in 1996.

      The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a Notice of Final Determination to Cignet Health care of Temple Hills, Maryland on February 4. The notice followed a finding by HHS’s Office of Civil Rights that Cignet failed to provide 41 patients with copies of their medical records and for failing to respond to requests from HHS’s Office of Civil Rights for information related to the complaints.

  • Civil Rights

    • Deconstructing the CALEA hearing

      US law is surprisingly clear on the topic of encryption — companies are free to build it into their products, and if they don’t have the decryption key, they can’t be forced to deliver their customers’ unencrypted communications or data to law enforcement agencies.

      While Skype uses some form of proprietary end-to-end encryption (although it should be noted that the security experts I’ve spoken to don’t trust it), and RIM uses encryption for its Enterprise Blackberry messaging suite, the vast majority of services that consumers use today are not encrypted. Those few services that do use encryption, such as Google’s Gmail, only use it to protect the data in transit from the user’s browser to Google’s servers. Once Google receives it, the data is stored in the clear.


      Building encryption into products, turning it on by default, and using it to protect all data is the ultimate form of privacy by design. While the FTC is encouraging firms to embrace this philosophy, the FBI is betting that poor security will remain the default. Sure, a few individuals will know how to encrypt their data, but the vast majority will not. It is because of this that the FBI can avoid a fight over encryption. Why bother, when so little data is encrypted?

    • Our human rights vs. The Others

      You know what else Human Rights Watch vehemently condemns as human rights abuses? Guantanamo, military commissions, denial of civilian trials, indefinite detention, America’s “enhanced interrogation techniques,” renditions, and a whole slew of other practices that are far more severe than the conditions in Haiti about which Lopez complains and yet which have been vocally supported by National Review. In fact, Lopez’s plea for Allen is surrounded at National Review by multiple and increasingly strident attacks on the Obama administration by former Bush officials Bill Burck and Dana Perino for (allegedly) abandoning those very policies, as well as countless posts from former Bush speechwriter (and the newest Washington Post columnist) Marc Thiessen promoting his new book defending torture. Lopez herself has repeatedly cheerled for Guantanamo and related policies, hailing Mitt Romney’s call in a GOP debate that we “double Guantanamo” as his “best answer” and saying she disagrees with John McCain’s anti-torture views, while mocking human rights concerns with the term “Club Gitmo.” And National Review itself has led an endless attack on the credibility of Human Rights Watch, accusing it of anti-Israel and anti-American bias for daring to point out the human rights abuses perpetrated by those countries.

    • The Big Pornography BBS Raids & Byron Sonne

      On Identi.ca this morning we’ve been discussing the criminal charges against Byron Sonne, and the other people who were charged in the G8/G20 witch hunt. And of course someone reposted the link to the Gawker interview with one of the people that the FBI raided for being a member of Anonymous.

      All of which reminded me of another witch hunt…

      I used to run a BBS called ‘Through the Looking Glass.’ Hey, I’m a creature of habit :)

      It was a private board. You got invited to join if you were interesting. You had to be able to communicate. There was a posting requirement – you have to keep your ratio of posts above a certain level, or I’d kick you out.

      Quite frankly it was a lot of fun. We had a great bunch of people, and held brisk discussions about a wide range of topics. There were only 30 members, so everyone knew everyone quite well. It was a private club style setup, you didn’t even get considered for an invite unless someone who was already a member recommended you – and they were careful about who they recommended because we were all having so much fun.

      And then a MORAL PANIC hit southern Ontario. Some brainless cretin realized that Electronic Bulletin Board Systems could be used to distribute child pornography.

    • WI Assembly GOP Passes Walker Budget In Surprise Vote — Dems Chant “Shame!”

      The Wisconsin State Assembly has just passed Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill, including its controversial provisions to eliminate almost all collective bargaining rights for public employee unions as well as many other provisions to weaken union organizing.

    • Why I Support the People of Thompson, Canada — And You Should Too

      To people down here in the U.S., Thompson, Canada and its fight with the Brazilian mining giant Vale may seem very far away.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • How India’s Draft Cybercafe Rules Could Strangle Public Internet Access

      - Definition of Cybercafe: According to the IT Act, “Cyber Cafe means any facility from where access to the Internet is offered by any person on the ordinary course of business to the members of the public,” and this is where a large part of the problem lies. By saying that the rules are applicable to any facility, it could refer to all WiFi hotspots, whether run by Aircel, Tata Indicom, or even small cafes and restaurants that want to offer patrons free WiFi access. And I’m not sure if those who framed these rules are aware, but today you can use an Android phone to set up a WiFi connection, and offer public Internet Access.

    • China Mobile CEO says Wi-Fi should be default data connection

      Sadly, the last point is what municipal wireless networks in the United States never got a chance to achieve. Municipalities in the US were trying to roll out these networks, a few years too early, before launch of the iPhone and the tsunami of Android phones.

      In life, timing is everything: the massive demand from mobile users had not yet occurred and there was (and perhaps still is) not enough wired backhaul in the form of fiber networks. There are a few successful muni WiFi networks in the US, but I believe that most of them will be deployed outside the United States.

  • DRM

    • Sony Sends Cops to PS3 Hacker’s Home

      PS3 hacking community member graf_chokolo says that Sony and the police raided his home and warns others to “be careful from now on.”

      A member of the PS3 hacking community known as graf_chokolo is learning the hard way that Sony means business when it comes to preventing people from circumventing the gaming consoles DRM protection scheme.

    • Sony’s War on Makers, Hackers, and Innovators

      Two weeks ago I proclaimed a winner in the microcontroller dev board arena with “Why the Arduino Won, and Why It’s Here to Stay.” There’s still lots of great debate going on, and conversations that still haven’t ended. Is my prediction right? We’ll see what happens in the upcoming months and years.

      This week I’m going to switch gears a little and declare an enemy for all makers, hackers, and innovators — it’s in a very different space: the consumer electronics industry. And who is this slayer of progress? Sony.

    • Microsoft Shows Sony a Better Way

      I don’t think even Sony believes it can be successful at producing hack-proof PlayStations. If they did, they wouldn’t be hiring lawyers and raiding people’s homes and grabbing their computers and PlayStation 3s, leading The Inquirer to call Sony the “overbearing Japanese company”.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Court Drops FileSoup BitTorrent Case, Administrators Walk Free

        Two administrators of FileSoup – the longest standing BitTorrent community – had their case dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) today. The prosecution relied solely on one-sided evidence provided by the anti-piracy group FACT and was not able to build a case. Following the trial of OiNK BitTorrent tracker operator Alan Ellis, the FileSoup case marks the second where UK-based BitTorrent site operators have walked free.

      • Battle Over Limewire Damages Drags Google And MySpace Into The Fray

        Limewire wants to know all about the deals that the record labels have struck with online services in the past. That’s likely because Limewire wants to show that the actual deals done by the record companies don’t justify their outsize damage demands. The record labels have said in the past that their damage demands against Limewire could be hundreds of millions of dollars, or even top $1 billion. There’s no way Limewire ever made that kind of cash, but the labels are hoping to force founder Mark Gorton, who also owns and manages a hedge fund, to pay up out of his personal fortune.

      • iiTrial: A green light to disconnect pirates

        Today’s judgment by the Full Bench of the Federal Court could clear the way for internet service providers to disconnect subscribers accused of copyright infringement.

        The majority ruling in the split judgment handed down today gives internet service providers no absolute protection over the actions of their subscribers.

      • So Much For The Big Guns’ Online Music Plans

        But this sounds mostly like merely a hard drive in the sky – a new place for existing customers to store files they already “own”.

      • BitTorrent Admin ‘Fined’, Despite Anti-Piracy Group Law-Breaking and Blunders

        Despite an anti-piracy group blundering through an investigation and breaking the law in the process, the administrator of a BitTorrent site has been ordered to pay compensation to rights holders. Jonas Laeborg, the operator of the EliteBits private tracker, was found liable for contributory infringement and ordered to settle to the tune of $18,500.

      • Amicus Brief Calls Into Question The Legality Of Righthaven’s Entire Business Model

        We’ve seen some of the defenses to Righthaven suits raise some of these issues, but never in such a detailed manner. And it’s especially interesting in this case, where the filing comes as an amicus brief, rather than lawyers for the defendant. In fact the defendant in the case, Bill Hyatt, did not reply. As we’ve discussed in the past, normally when that happens, the court will make a default judgment — basically giving the plaintiff everything requested. However, they don’t have to and Randazza points out that Righthaven’s claims reach far beyond reasonable. Among other things, it also challenges Righthaven’s ridiculous standard demand that those sued hand over their entire domain name, noting that copyright law does not allow such a remedy.

      • Music Execs Stressed Over Free Streaming

        Free streaming services are replacing piracy as the chief culprit of music industry revenue loss in the minds of fiscally frustrated executives, if a number of panel discussions at a New York digital music conference are any indication.

      • Pirate Bay Documentary Gets Government Funding

        TPB-AFK is an upcoming documentary about The Pirate Bay and its founders, expected to be released later this year. To complete the project, Swedish filmmaker Simon Klose has now received over $30,000 in funding from the Swedish Government. This money will be added to the $50,000 that was already donated by peers through a successful Kickstarter project.

      • RIAA Defends $1.5 Million Thomas File-Sharing Verdict

        RIAA spokeswoman Cara Duckworth defended the verdict as necessary to address her “blatant disrespect for artists, the legal system, and the law,” but doesn’t acknowledge that the amount is still so high – $1.5 mln – that the only message it’s sending is that the RIAA is completely removed from reality.

      • Random defendant outlawyers P2P attorney, gets lawsuit tossed

        You know it’s tough out there for a P2P lawyer when even some random, anonymous, non-lawyer defendant is the more convincing party. That strange scenario unfolded yesterday in Illinois, where divorce-attorney-turned-porn-copyright-lawyer John Steele had his entire case against 300 defendants thrown out completely.

        The case involved CP Productions, “a leading producer of adult entertainment content within the amateur Latina niche.” The company ran a site called “Chica’s Place” from which a bit of material referred to as “Cowgirl Creampie” was allegedly downloaded illegally by 300 people. Though based in Arizona, CP Productions signed up with Steele, a Chicago lawyer, to bring the case.

      • Karmic Punishment

        A story on TechDirt caught my imagination, about a P2P law firm who were sending out extortion letters after a judge had dismissed the defendants. It seems that you have to get pretty low to be less ethical than lawyers in some rackets these days. It seems that nothing stands in the way as a deterrent for them. I have a suggestion.

        Since their business model is about mass mailing extortion “pay up or else” threats, knowing that a significant number will pay out the $5000 or whatever the settlement fee is, than go to court with the intentionally inflated “$100,000′s” in fines and costs, why not fine them $5000 for EVERY letter they’ve sent illegally in addition to refunding everyone who’s paid up double?

      • ACTA

        • Japan Wanted Canada Out of Initial ACTA Group

          Another cable includes commentary on specifically excluding other international organizations, with the USTR stressing that the G8 or OECD “might make it more difficult to construct a high-standards agreement.”

          From a Canadian perspective it is worth noting that the Japanese proposed keeping Canada out of the initial negotiating group.

Clip of the Day

Richard Stallman w Polsce – AGH Kraków 14 styczeń 2009 [part 1/4]

Credit: TinyOgg

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